[rescue] [geeks] Solaris being discontinued? Rumors flying

Peter Corlett abuse at cabal.org.uk
Mon Dec 5 05:19:02 CST 2016

On Sat, Dec 03, 2016 at 09:59:43PM -0500, Phil Stracchino wrote:
> To be clear, I'm not talking about the latest shiny bling-bling desktop
> environment. I'm talking about things like common Unix cli utilities that
> don't yet support command-line options that I've taken for granted for ten
> years.

"pkg install coreutils". Colliding names get a g- prefix (e.g. "gtar") but you
can fix those up with shell aliases if you want.

Personally, I found it useful to have my assumptions about Unix challenged by
the differences, encouraging me to re-read the man pages for the first time in
ages and learn to make my various shell scripts more robust and portable.

> Now possibly some or even many these are GNU extensions, and possibly FreeBSD
> does not wish to adopt those, and that's the choice of the FreeBSD
> developers. But what I don't understand is seemingly *taking pride in* not
> supporting features that have become expected over the last fifteen years or
> so.

It's not so much "taking pride in" as much as having made different design
decisions. Firstly, being BSD and thus BSD-licensed, they can't just wholesale
import the GPL-licensed GNU coreutils. Now they could adapt the BSD userspace
to be bug-for-bug compatible, but what's the point in just becoming a GNU/Linux
knock-off? Much like I don't care for Linux becoming a Windows knock-off,
because if I wanted Windows, I know where to get it.

Some of those contrary design decisions are useful. Modern BSD tar(1) is based
on libarchive, which supports a wide range of file formats including ZIP and
ISO9660 images. libarchive is why you don't need to remember to tell tar to
filter through a decompressor first, as it autodetects the format. Being able
to whip up a CD image without having to remember the bizarre incantations for
genisoimage(1) is useful as well.

The only two things that annoy me are that find(1) gives an error rather than
implicitly search the current directory if I don't give a path (it's not in
coreutils) and Linux's watch(1) is much more capable than FreeBSD's

> Being new does not automatically make something good. (Hell, just look at
> systemd.) But neither does being old automatically make it better.

I started looking at FreeBSD because of ZFS, and ran screaming to FreeBSD
because of systemd.

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